Abstracts Invited for a panel titled
“Beyond Local Color: Late 19th-century Regionalisms”
American Literature Association Symposium
“Regionalism and Place in American Literature”
September 7-9, 2017
Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans
The organizers of the Sept 2017 ALA Symposium on “Regionalism and Place in American Literature” have invited us to “question spatial boundaries and definitions” and to ask what it means “to publish or write ‘regionally.’” With these questions in mind, this proposed panel seeks to tease apart the terms “regionalism” and “local color” within the period most closely associated with the latter. Some regional scholars seek alternatives to “local color” by working in periods other than the late nineteenth century, but this panel seeks to discover varieties of regional expression as they coexisted and possibly competed for authority after the Civil War. Judith Fetterley and Marjorie Pryse have suggested gender differences as a key to recovering alternative regional forms; many other scholars continue to use the terms “regional” and “local color” more or less interchangeably in this period. This panel asks what new angles of vision and methods of study are required to make additional regionalisms visible or legible between 1870 and 1900?
Questions of interest may include:
- What regionalisms have been made visible by the proliferation of digital nineteenth-century materials?
- What genres besides the local color magazine sketch negotiated regional meaning and regional relations after the Civil War?
- Does research on nineteenth-century reading and publishing offer insight into the reception of local color and other regionalisms?
- Is the local color movement the product of an elite literary consciousness, popular taste, or both? What other regional forms are produced by class differentiation in the late nineteenth century?
- When local color = regionalism in the late nineteenth century, what exactly is lost?
Please submit 250-300-word paper proposals to Tara Penry, Professor of English, Boise State University (firstname.lastname@example.org) by June 1 with a subject line of “ALA Panel Abstract.”